USC iPodia Program

Hi all!

As the semester is coming to a close, I wanted to reflect on some of the courses I have taken.  This semester I am enrolled in the USC iPodia Program (ENGR 345).  This is a unique program that allows students from around the world to come together in a single course and collaborate.   The official course name is Principles and Practices of Global Innovation.

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Freshman 15: 15 Things to Consider as a Freshman!

Hey all,

Whether you are deciding where to take your talents next year or just perusing the college websites to learn more, understanding the freshman experience is a must.  Freshman year is a time of learning, adjustment, and excitement, but knowing how to maximize these aspects will put you well ahead of the game.

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Lovely shot of Bovard Auditorium

Why USC You Ask

Hey all!

I still remember being a senior in high school trying to juggle sports, school work, and college applications.  It is a time of stress, but anxiety to learn where you will be taking your talents next year.  There are so many stories of the perfect college fit, the ideal major, or myths about how to get into colleges.  While some of these methods may have yielded results for some, it by no means is a fool proof or even advantageous strategy.  At an institution like USC, if there was a set standard, set person, set essay, or test score to get in, the student body would be filled with the same type of people and frankly quite boring.  And this is simply not the case.

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A Crazy Week of School Before USC Spring Break!

This week was crazy both inside and outside of class! It was a hectic week of midterms and projects, and I was also trying to plan for a smooth transition into spring break! On top of that, there was another animal study in my research lab on Tuesday – more on that later in the blog!

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Chinstrap Penguin!

Research in Antarctica: My Journey to the End of the World

Hey everyone!

While it’s great being back at USC again, I still find myself reminiscing about my fantastic journey to the end of the world over winter break! While I briefly mentioned my trip to Antarctica in my blog from last week, I wanted to go a little more in depth about the research I was doing and some of my favorite moments from the trip!

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Looking Ahead: Mountain Climbing in Summer 2014

Even though this semester is really going to challenge me, I know I’ll get through it if I continue to work hard and focus on graduation. However, I can’t help but look ahead to this coming summer. It will be nice to have a summer transitioning from undergraduate studies to graduate studies, where i do not need to stress out as much about getting an internship as in previous years. This will leave my summer open to have some great adventures! I figured I would talk briefly about some of the mountain climbs I am hoping to do this summer…

Mt. Ritter (13,150 ft) and Banner Peak (12,936 ft)


These two mountains have been on my list for a while now. My dad has talked repeatedly to me about how spectacular hiking in the Minarets (this sub-mountain range) is. From the highway, the mountains look like jagged spikes, and are markedly different than the peaks around it. Mt. Ritter and Banner Peak, casually referred to together as Ritter and Banner, are two of the most popular mountains in this range. These peaks are usually summited together on one trip, because of their proximity to one another. I hope to summit these mountains this coming summer.

North Dome (7,543 ft)


The first time I saw this mountain was when I was standing on top of Half Dome. I was looking out over Yosemite Valley, and this mountain stood out to me. I think it’s spectacular, because it sticks out as a smooth dome. Since then, I have wanted to climb it, and I hope to get to the top this summer.

Mt. Rainer (14,411 ft)


The summer after 6th grade, I went on an RV trip up to Oregon and Washington. On our trip, we stopped in Mt. Rainer National Park, and spent some time walking around the base of the mountain. I thought the mountain was so majestic, and shoots up into the sky, with nothing around it. It would be a hard climb, requiring ice axes and crampons, but I would love to add a third mountain to my list of 14,000 foot mountains.

Mt. Lyell (13,144 ft)


This mountain stands out to me for a couple reasons. First, it is the tallest mountain in Yosemite, and stands over 12,000 feet tall. Second, it is far out of the way, as it takes around a day just to hike to the base of the mountain. It is a very spectacular looking mountain, housing the Lyell Glacier below the summit.

These are just a couple of the mountains that have been on my list for a while now. I hope to enjoy summiting these mountains with my dad this summer. In the meantime, I have to focus on graduating!

The Parthenon, atop the Acropolis in Athens

I Came, I Saw, I Conquered: Winter Break 2014

As I stepped off the airplane into the cold confines of John F. Kennedy International Airport, I received a text message from my father that would jumpstart my winter break. Without any warning, my father and mother had scheduled a family vacation to Greece! So, five days after landing in New York City, I was off again, this time to the rainy foothills of Athens and Mount Olympus. Continue reading

At deception island!

From Antarctica to Organic Chemistry: Back to Spring Semester

I’m so excited to be back at USC for the spring! It’s definitely nice to be back to the lovely warm Southern California weather, especially after a very cold winter break spent doing research in Antarctica.

I had the opportunity to travel to Antarctica for two weeks over winter break with a program called Students on Ice, which is based out of Canada along with 71 other high school and university students from around the United States and Canada. For the two weeks, we studied oceanography, tourism in Antarctica, and climate change, along with doing various landings on the Antarctic Peninsula and other islands like Elephant Island and Half Moon Island. It was certainly a once in a life time experience that taught me so much about a part of the world few people get to see.

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